Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Life of Loud Desperation

Well darlings, post-enslavement to the 9-5 workaday world, I find myself mired in all sorts of paperwork hell and not even able to pay my mortgage without the help of a credit card.

First, there's the paperwork nightmare that my unmployment claim became. I won't go into detail except to say I have had to fill out about 100 forms, am not getting any more money, and have to pay back a bunch because I turned down a job and was honest about it! (Ah yes, a job back at Geeksoft that would have made me rich and desperately unhappy. Now I am poor and desperate but not moderately happy, as much as a person can be happy anyway, when they are sinking under the weight of debt).

Then, because health insurance companies wouldn't be health insurance companies if they didn't try to SCREW you, there have been bureaucratic snafus galore with LIFEWISE, who, unbeknownst to me, cut off my health insurance due to an adminstrative error on my part and then nicely gave me a ONE-TIME REINSTATEMENT. I can only thank God I didn't get diagnosed with cancer during the time I was CUT OFF, UNBEKNOWNST TO ME, or that some other administrative error does not occur ever again so that I lose my health insurance altogether right when I do get diagnosed with cancer!

F*CKERS. If I had more than five pennies to my name, I would go after them with a lawyer (preferably a hot one with six-pack abs) but alas, I'll have to settle with sending in an "appeal" to a bunch of faceless underpaid unemployees who don't give a sh*t about anything except getting off their shift so they can stop dealing with BIG-TIME WHINERS like me.

Let's see if I can find something positive to say here. Oh but wait. I forgot to complain about my housing search and simultaneous search for a renter. That's been hell too, with all sorts of bad human behavior coming to the surface. I got two prospective tenants snatched away by a sleazy-ass landlord and nearly got $500 taken from me by a prospective landlord. All plans to move in July to the lovely townhouse in the Central District have ground to a halt for lack of someone to rent my house, meanwhile we've caused the landlord in the CD to have a nervous breakdown (not really our fault, but we can't help but feel guilty about it because we're nice people like that).

Finally! On the positive side! I'm marginally employed at the moment doing fun work that involves playing with new toys and writing about them. The dog gets to join me at the office, which is in lovely downtown Seattle, in a big loft with hardwoord floors, where we write reviews of Cabbage Patch kids (flexible but not floppy!), the Polly Pocket Ultimate Party boat (complete with personal watercraft!), and more. The dog and I don't get paid much for this (only the truly soul-sucking jobs pay a lot I've discovered, except maybe MOVIE STAR or ROCK STAR) but any money is better than the no money I've been making, and plus we feel like contributing members of society again. SO THERE.

Meanwhile, Dave and I took our inflatable dinghy kayak out for its first marine voyage last weekend and had the great pleasure of being followed by a seal named Emile for half an hour. Watch the video!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Birthday Parties and Little Dogs in Sweaters

Well darlings, it has been a crazy time. Somehow I am working very hard and making very little money. Meanwhile
(as you can see) the pug must be kept in fancy sweaters.

One thing I've learned about myself during this period of no structure is that I take on too many projects when faced with an empty schedule. TOO MANY PROJECTS THAT DON'T PAY ANYTHING BUT ARE OH-SO-SPIRITUALLY REWARDING!

But I still refuse to believe the only option for me is Hotel Californiasoft. So what if I'd actually be able to buy shoes again and get decent healthcare if I went back there?! I am going to make these OH-SO-SPIRITUALLY REWARDING jobs pay something *one* of these days and meanwhile as the pug has a sweater to wear, we are fine.

Meanwhile I have spent the last four days in a training for a girls outdoor education organization, during which I 1)camped in a leaky tent in the pouring rain 2)got in touch with my "ancestral spirits" (who said, "have you found a nice Jewish boy yet?"); identified my own oppressive role in the patriarchy; and spent time around a group of women who were so warm and and community-minded that it blew my mind.

On the one hand, I really wanted to be part of it; on the other, it made me want to run back to the world of high-tech where we each sit in our own little sterile offices with no crying or hugging or discussion of racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism (and no performances of interpretive dance about any of the above subjects).

But seriously. The whole thing was eye-opening and intense I'm grateful that I got to go. I'll bring what I learned into all the teaching that I do.

(And, in the sprit of full disclosure, during the "ancestral sprits" exercise, I actually did conjure up visions of Bubby and Auntie and Grandma Rose and my grandfathers I never met and hung with them for a while and got all teary-eyed that they weren't around and vowed to remember and be grateful to them more often. SO THERE. See how spiritually advanced I've gotten lately?)

Oh! I almost forgot to add that I sincerely want to thank whoever is in charge of the weather department for not storming upon my rockin' birthday party, which was daringly held outdoors in late May in Dave's backyard, for lack of a better venue. Not that Dave's backyard isn't fabulous, but it is much more suited for a party in, say, August, when one might have, oh, at least a 50% chance of good weather. Despite a cold and cloudy start, the sun came out, the band rocked, little children danced, and a good time was had by all into the wee hours of the morning. Happy birthday to ME!